Recent blog posts

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Sofema Aviation Service looks at SMS reporting from the EASA perspective

What do we mean by Safety Occurrence Reporting?

We use the term Safety Occurrence to identify as a collective term which is used to embrace all events which have, or could have significance in the context of aviation safety.

Events identified may in fact range from minor events which are deemed to have a potential for an impact on safety through to incidents or events that should be reported to more serious events including serious incidents and accidents.

Building a Reporting Culture

The willingness to report, safety related exposures is a significant measure when we are considering the effectiveness of Safety Management System.

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One of the biggest barriers to an effective Safety Management System (SMS) depends on the willingness of the employees to engage with the organisational system and for the managers to support such a program in a positive and tolerant way.

Without the willingness to engage with the Safety Management System (SMS) the level of data capture will lead to the creation of barriers.

Full engagement by the Management Team is an essential first step on the journey and without doubt. If we are going to maintain a healthy safety management systems (SMS) we require an open process of hazard reporting which allows us to understand the exposure and to reduce the operational risk.

How we are impact the various organisational barriers is in turn impacted by cultural and other behaviours which are often routed in mistrust.

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Safety is defined as “The condition to which risks are managed to acceptable levels.”

Whenever Humans and Machines are involved there will always be potential for accident and incident. Safety management is based on the premise that hazards, risks and threats will always exist.

With a Safety Management System (SMS) we focus on the real possibility of reducing the organisations exposure across a range of business areas – we do this by delivering a systematic approach to risk management.

It is possible to promote transparent processes which establish clear lines of accountability and aid decision-making and to use this as a tool to drive positive change.

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Sofema Aviation Services  & looks at the bigger picture driven by the recent changes to the EASA Basic Regulation 1139/2018.


On 11th September this year entered in force the new EASA Basic Regulation No 1139/2018 which repeals existing Regulation (EU) 216/2008.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) welcomes the adoption by the Council of the European Union of updated aviation safety rules for Europe which include a new mandate for EASA.

The so-called new Basic Regulation formalises EASA’s role in the domain of drones and urban air mobility, enabling the Agency to prepare rules for all sizes of civil drones and harmonize standards for the commercial market across Europe.

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Within the workplace the consequences of human failure can be significant, unfortunately, we are all capable of error regardless of our training or motivation.

A human error is an action or decision which was not intended, however it is important to consider that human failure is not random. There are two main types of human failure: errors and violations.

Errors often occur highly trained procedures where the person carrying them out does not need to concentrate on what they are doing (Improved design can reduce their likelihood and provide a more error tolerant system).

Violations are rarely malicious (sabotage) and usually result from an intention to get the job done as efficiently as possible. Getting to the root cause of any violation is the key to understanding and hence preventing the violation.

Organisation Obligations

The potential for Human Error should be managed proactively and should be addressed as part of a wider risk assessment process.

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There are a number of ways we can assess the integrity of a Vendor/Supplier with the objective of improving the supplier performance.

Understanding the purpose of Receipt Discrepancy Processes and Component Reliability Assessment including warranty issues.

Why would we carry out a Vendor Survey?

Essentially it is a process which sits alongside the Supplier Evaluation Procedures and enables an ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of the supply chain arrangement with a given vendor.

What do we want to know concerning our vendors?

We want to know how effective is the product which is received from a particular supplier, and we measure this in a number of ways:

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Certain Parts will require special attention due to the size for example Aircraft Landing Gears and Engines. To ensure adequate inspection techniques are followed the following should be included.

a) Written procedures?

b) Internal quality audit procedures?

c) Signature procedures?

d) Procedures for checking for physical damage and defects?

e) Preservation procedures?

f) Procedures for quantities received controls?

g) Verification procedures for part/model/serial numbers?

h) Documentation matches part(s)/material(s) received?

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Sofema Aviation Services looks at the basic requirements related to an effective EASA Compliant Aviation Stores

Regulatory Drivers

Storage, Tagging and Release of Aircraft Components and Materials to Aircraft Maintenance

[Part 145.A.25 (d), AMC 145.A.25 (d) 1, 2, 3 - Part 145.A.40 (a) - AMC 145.A.42 (b) - Part 145.A.70 (a) 12] 

Concerning Storage

Stores shall provide the necessary capacity to stock aircraft components, consumable and raw material in the manner recommended by manufacturer’s instructions and in accordance with the relevant regulations and safety precautions.

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EASA Regulations Provide for EASA Part 145 Organisational Theoretical & Practical Training in support of Task Training for CAT A and CAT B2 Aircraft Engineers.

In Addition, EASA Regulations provide for On the Job Training (OJT) following completion of the First Type Training in each Category.

EASA Regulatory Background Guidance

66.A.45 Endorsement with aircraft ratings

In addition to the requirement of point (b), the endorsement of the first aircraft type rating within a given category/sub-category requires satisfactory completion of the corresponding On the Job Training, as described in Appendix III to Annex III (Part-66)

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Equip yourself as an instructor and be able to provide training in support of both EASA 145 & EASA 147.

Support the delivery of training to the highest possible standard of technical and behavioural instructional skill.

Engage with continues professional development and commit to continuous improvement as an instructor.

Available Now! – Online Training to Prepare you for the Instructor Role

SofemaOnline EASA Part 145 / 147 Instructor Techniques Course Train the Trainer course is waiting for you now here.

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Management system audit requirements may include reference to documents such as policies, objectives, processes, procedures, instructions, quality plans, which can when combined with an audit scope statement, deliver internal audits which can be either wide-ranging or focused on any aspect of the organization or part thereof and which has the potential to address risk performance.

ISO 19011 considers that there is a risk associated with delivering an audit program which addresses all the requirements of the various standard or the management system are covered within a year.

Why does this method of scheduling create a risk?

Essentially audit programs which are fitted into an annual 12-month calendar program rarely take risk into consideration.

Tagged in: Audit Program Quality Risks
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Changing the Audit Focus to a Performance Based System where the audits are driven by needs related to both System Performance and Management Objectives rather than by simple schedule.

For maximum benefit the internal management systems audits should connect with an overarching objective to evaluate "risk".

IS031000, defines risk as: "An undesirable situation or circumstance that has both a likelihood of occurring and a potentially negative consequence" or the "effect of uncertainty on objectives".

It is increasingly understood that the explicit and structured management of risk brings benefits.

It is common for internal audit programs to be developed on an annual calendar that predicts which aspects of the Quality Management System are going to be audited.

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Issues and observations made by Steve Bentley MD SAS (

EASA Clearly identifies roles and responsibilities of the Role of EASA Part 147 Practical Trainer and Practical Assessor. However EASA has omitted to clearly identify the Role of EASA Part 145 Trainer “Supervisor / LAE”

Following the amendment of EC 1149/2011 EASA Part 145 has NOT been updated to include either AMC or Guidance material required to ensure standardisation of the OJT / OJE Process – rather it is left as an open obligation of each organisation to individually develop a procedure which is then accepted by the local Competent Authority (CA) (potential weakness and exposure).

Appendix III to AMC defines On-the-job-Experience as requiring a particular skill set to be present with the role of Supervisor related to the role of OJT “trainer” – this requires both training to an organisational standard & authorisation (see highlighted area above).

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Sofema Aviation Services looks at several Organisational Challenges related to the Management of  on the Job Training within an EASA Part 145 Environment

Regulatory Background

Driven by changes in EASA regulations in accordance with EC 1149/2011 EASA introduced unique terms for Practical Training which is the responsibility of the 147 Organisation and “On the Job Training (OJT) which typically sits with the 145 organisation.

Note 2 – Whilst EASA Part 147 Contains multiple references to roles and responsibilities in respect of the role of Practical Assessor and Practical Trainer – There is an absence of guidance within EASA Part 145 - Clearly this is a challenge.

EASA References within Part 66 provide for very limited guidance material related to 145 – Ref appendices to Annex III 

Appendix III - 4.2 Point 6 On the Job Training (OJT) shall be approved by the competent authority who has issued the licence.

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Steve Bentley MD of Sofema Aviation Service ( looks at issues related to Part 66 OJT

This document is additionally supplied as an appendix to the Sofema Aviation Services / SofemaOnline “Going it alone” document.

What is Basic Experience? 

Basic Experience is the number of years you have to be able to demonstrate prior to being accepted for the issue of an AMEL. 

From EASA FAQ - Where do I gain the required basic maintenance experience? Is it mandatory to gain the required maintenance experience in an EASA approved Part-145 organisation? 

According to the AMC 66.A.30(a)(4), aircraft maintenance experience gained within different types of maintenance organisations (under Part-145, M.A. Subpart F, FAR-145, etc.) or under the supervision of independent certifying staff may be accepted by the competent authorities.

Tagged in: EASA Part 66
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SOL ( and SAS ( offer EASA compliant regulatory training both online and within the classroom environment.

Are you looking for effective EASA Part M Regulatory Training?

SofemaOnline and Sofema Aviation Services together cover all elements of Part M. Our training courses are delivered by Industry Professionals with a wealth of experience in the field and an immense amount of practical relevance is included throughout the presentation.

What is EASA Part M?

A set of regulatory guidelines used to manage continuing airworthiness. EASA Part M has been around officially since Sept 2003.

Part M can trace its origins to JAR OPS 1 & JAR OPS 3 when in 1998 the Operator was identified as key player in maintaining the integrity of the Continuing Airworthiness. (CAW)

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SofemaOnline provides online regulatory training courses to support the development of your Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO)

The following information supports consideration of which training is appropriate for a CAMO engaged with Large Aircraft (Aircraft above 5700 KGS).

All the following courses are available via the online training platform SofemaOnline.

Consider the benefits of enrolling and receiving SofemaOnline training courses:

Enjoy an Easy Online learning experience with and SAS-e-aviation YouTube Video Channel.

Features Include:

o   EASA Compliant Online and Vocational Training Courses;

o   Easy to browse course catalogue;

o   Faster and effective delivery;

o   Study in the comfort of your own home;

o   Complete module examinations and print your certificates on completion;

o   Cost effective professional service;

o   Access to the courses you like at any time;

o   Support for student questions through LinkedIn User Group SofemaOnline User Forum.

Which Courses are Most Appropriate for my role in the PART M CAMO Organisation?

1/ Continuing Airworthiness Manager

a) Part M with Voice Over

b) EASA Part 21 Review for CAMO Staff

c) Introduction to Aircraft Maintenance Planning in an EASA Environment

d) Developing an Effective Reliability Program Essentials

e) Aviation Quality Auditing & Root Cause Analysis for Nominated Persons and Business Area Managers

f) Safety Management System Overview and Recurrent

e) RVSM Continued Airworthiness & Maintenance Practices

f) Introduction to Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) and Minimum Equipment List (MEL)

g) Human Factors (Initial) / Human Facotrs (Recurrent)

h) Fuel Tank Safety (Initial) / Fuel Tank Safety (Recurrent)

i) EWIS (Initial) / EWIS (Recurrent)

j) Part 145 Foundation

Maintenance Planning Staff

a) Introduction to Aircraft Maintenance Planning in an EASA Environment

b) Aircraft Maintenance Planning in an EASA Environment Fundamentals

c) Aircraft Maintenance Planning Management and Development in an EASA Environment

d) Aircraft Maintenance Planning Optimization Processes in an EASA Environment

e) Advanced Aircraft Maintenance Planning in an EASA Environment

f) EASA Part 21 Review for CAMO Staff

g) Human Factors (Initial) / Human Facotrs (Recurrent)

h) Fuel Tank Safety (Initial) / Fuel Tank Safety (Recurrent)

i) EWIS (Initial) / EWIS (Recurrent)

j) Aircraft Technical Records

k) Part M with Voice Over

l) Part 145 Foundation

Reliability Staff

a) Developing an Effective Reliability Program Essentials

b) EASA Part 21 Review for CAMO Staff

c) Human Factors (Initial) / Human Facotrs (Recurrent)

d) Fuel Tank Safety (Initial) / Fuel Tank Safety (Recurrent)

e) EWIS (Initial) / EWIS (Recurrent)

f) Aircraft Technical Records

g) Part M with Voice Over

Engineering Staff

a) Developing an Effective Reliability Program Essentials

b) EASA Part 21 Review for CAMO Staff

c) Human Factors (Initial) / Human Facotrs (Recurrent)

d) Fuel Tank Safety (Initial) / Fuel Tank Safety (Recurrent)

e) EWIS (Initial) / EWIS (Recurrent)

f) Aircraft Technical Records

g) RVSM Continued Airworthiness & Maintenance Practices

h) Introduction to Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) and Minimum Equipment List (MEL)

i) Part M with Voice Over

j) Part 145 Foundation

Tech Records Staff

a) Aircraft Technical Records

b) EASA Part 145 Logistics Foundation

c) EASA Part 21 Review for CAMO Staff

d) Human Factors (Initial) / Human Facotrs (Recurrent)

e) Part M with Voice Over

f) Part 145 Foundation

CAMO Quality Assurance Staff

a) Part M with Voice Over

b) Root Cause Analysis for Quality Assurance Practitioners

c) Aviation Compliance Auditing In an EASA Environment with VO

d) Safety Management System Overview and Recurrent

e) Introduction to Aircraft Maintenance Planning in an EASA Environment

f) Developing an Effective Reliability Program Essentials

g) EASA Part 21 Review for CAMO Staff

h) Part 145 Foundation

CAMO Junior Admin Staff

a) Part M Foundation

b) EASA Technical Records Foundation

c) Part 145 Foundation

d) Part 145 Logistics Foundation

The Sofema Difference is Real!

We are so confident that we really stand out above the crowd that we offer free access to Quality Managers for audit purposes.

The SOL Team is ready to help you now please email 

The SofemaOnline difference is real and if you have not already done so, please try SofemaOnline now! - How to register

Is Online Better?

Well do not just ask us – Try asking the US Department of Education who found the diffrence between just classroom and online training.

"Solely learning online was proven slightly more effective than Solely learning in a classroom. In other words, if you only choose one delivery method students would learn more through just online training."

See The Study Details here.

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What do we mean by Safety Culture within an Organisation?

Safety Culture is the way safety is perceived, valued and prioritized within an organisation.

Safety Culture reflects the true commitment to safety at all levels in the organisation.

James Reason described it as "how an organisation behaves when no one is watching".

Safety Culture is a combination of a range of drivers including organisational norms, national cultural beliefs and professional attitudes. It reflects people attitude and believe towards the importance of safety.

How important is Safety Culture?

A Positive Safety Culture Matters because it provides a focus on how the organisation approaches incident recording, incident analysis, staff training and the integration of maintenance safety and operational safety priorities.

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The most effective way undertaking distance learning with the opportunity to receive cost effective training delivering more knowledge in the most flexible and efficient manner.

What is SofemaOnline?
SofemaOnline (SOL) is your trusted online training partner for EASA and FAA Compliant Regulatory Training – Currently more than 2000 people are enrolled and undertaking training online with SOL!

Why is SofemaOnline Growing?

During 2018 SofemaOnline has doubled its online training business when compared to 2017 and this is a continuation of a trend because 2017 was a doubling of the business we achieved in 2016!

With a growing portfolio of courses and our ability to quickly respond to our customers needs we are anticipating to again double our business by the end of 2019!

Tagged in: EASA FAA
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Demonstrating compliance to 14 CFR §145.109 Calibration Requirements

An article by our Guest Blogger and SAS Instructor and Consultant Kevin Rookes

The Basic Requirements

The Repair Station Manual/Quality Control Manual (RSM/QCM) must describe the system and the procedures used for calibrating Measuring Tools and Equipment (MTE).

The repair station must calibrate MTE per intervals, procedures, and the system described in the RSM/QCM.

All MTE must be calibrated and traceable to a standard acceptable to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to include those recommended by the manufacturer, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or other national authority. This requires an unbroken chain of documentation from the MTE through each intermediate standard used, to the acceptable standard.

Tagged in: 14 CFR Calibration QCM RSM
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